Thursday, June 28, 2012


1.)  Just love the whole kerfluffle about kids not being allowed to apply sunscreen at school and camp without a doctor's note.  I imagine pediatricians all over the country writing prescriptions or notes for sunscreen application - just thrilled that their time is taken up with this exercise. Will common sense ever return to this country?

2.)  I have been a life long viewer of The Today Show.  I have lost a lot of respect for the show in the past years and my viewership has diminished.  I have not switched to any other network because the lack of good journalism is rampant everywhere.

It used to be that the first hours of the show were dedicated to hard news and the later hours to the fluffier, human interest stories.  When they started leading with Lindsey Lohan stories I knew it was over.  Now they have driven away the smart, warm co-anchor Ann Curry who mercifully took over after silly Meredith Viera left.  That is pretty much the nail in the coffin for me.  I am switching to the local news in the mornings.

3.)  This video makes me miss our little Hilda!

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012


I am busy enough with work and all that I am not reading and watching as much about the economy and politics and such.  I did read an article by my favorite economist (because he is straight talking and wise) Robert Reich. 

He discussed the painfully obvious fact that our economy, which has for many, many years now been shifted to rely on spending by the middle class for goods and services for it's health; will not be able to recover as long as the middle class is being squeezed out of the earning end of the deal.


The thing I realized, too?  I has been a really long time since we have had much spending money.  And our income is somewhat above the middle class range.  It isn't just putting kids through college that has bogged us down, the incredibly high cost of health insurance has been draining. 

We don't have car payments; two of our vehicles are over 15 years old and we bought our "new" car 5 years ago. We don't own our home and the last vacation we took was in 2008. We don't have a flat screen TV or iPhones.  Our biggest purchase in the past 4 years was a new mattress.  I'd like to get the dental crown I broke a year or so ago replaced, but I can't afford it unless I put it on a credit card.

Economist Gary Burtless of Brookings Institution indicates that the middle class encompasses from one-half the median income to twice the median income. This would make the middle class income range $25,117 to $100,466. MIT economist Frank Levy believes that those in the middle class have enough money to afford the basic building blocks of a good life, including a house, a car and money to pay necessary bills. He suggests that families in their prime earning years are middle class if they fall between $30,000 and $90,000.

So while it may sound like I am whining - I really don't mean it that way.  I just think that there are so many of us flying under the radar of the politicians and economists that are not part of the discussion.  People who are educated, have worked hard, had some financial success and security and now it is gone and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight - and no plan that will change things for us any time soon.

 I know we are lucky to have had those years of relative financial success.  We have had some nice homes and furnished them well and reaped the rewards of their increased value.  We never managed to take the kids to Hawaii, but we had some great shorter trips to Disneyland and Tahoe.  If they needed braces, they had them, if we wanted to go out to dinner, we did. There was summer camp, swim lessons,  roller blades and bikes.  We had cars available for their use and we paid for sports and school activities, prom dresses and tux rentals.

Many of our financial stresses came from Tom pursuing his dream of a law practice - not many people can do the work they choose.  And I had 16 years home with the kids - I would never have chosen to miss that.

So while the unexpected economic shut down has made things more of a challenge that we expected, we are hanging in there and looking for those in the know to set this country back on the rails. I don't want to be the generation that made it impossible for my kids to live at least as well as we have.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I don't know what it is about summer - it always makes me lose track of my age.  I reflect back to childhood days spent roaming the fields and trolling the creek for frogs.  I think about riding my bike along the narrow road to the swimming pool/mini-golf course; quarters in my pocket and my towel draped around my neck.

When I see the teens out driving around with I think of dangling our arms out the windows into the warm air, the radio playing, trying to decide where to go and what to do.  Feeling restless, wanting a romance.

My mind goes to being a mom - somehow all the years in between when work and getting adult life started don't being summer memories... Days at the swim club with toddlers jumping to me in the shallow end.  Over and over.  Look at me mom!  Packing up so much gear for so many outings.  The beach, the park, the pool. 

Naked kids running through the sprinkler turn into brown bodied kids coming home from camp filthy and spilling over with stories and songs turn into giggly tweens who don't want to be seen with me to teens off to summer jobs and staying out late in the soft summer night.

Tonight the jasmine is filling the house with scent and my thoughts are time traveling.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


It sure seems more clear than ever that bombarding people with misinformation and distorted reality can turn them away from common sense and even their own experience.  Brainwashing, if you will.  And having a whole lot of money available to put that message into constant rotation on TV and in other high visibility places means that your message becomes their belief.

In Wisconsin, Scott Walker held on to his office - he outspent Democrat Tom Barrett by more than 7-to-1. And that doesn't take into account the tens of millions of dollars that Republican Super PACs poured into the state - estimated at between $75 and $80 million.

The Tea Partiers and the GOP think it was a great victory.  I think it is just sad that more people can't see what is happening, stand up to it and get educated about the issues on their own.

Monday, June 4, 2012


*Ally is back from school now but rarely home.  When I know she is sleeping upstairs and needs to get up the old "mom voice" from the bottom of the stairs no longer rouses her.  I 've lost my touch.

*The first night Maggie was home she went out and picked a pile of lemons from our tree which we squeezed and made into several large cocktail shakers of lemon drop martinis.  When I went out the other day to pick a lemon for something I was making, I realized we used every lemon off the tree...Tom reminded me there were a few trips out to the tree that evening!

*At the A's game we bought a couple beers for Ally - one of which didn't quite make it into the cup holder. When it hit the ground, it spattered  on the shoes of the Yankee fan in front of us.  We were all  apologetic and scrambling for napkins.  Ally pulled out her red "Keep Calm and Carry On" tissues and handed them over - he just melted into a grin and was our good buddy the rest of the night.

*We rode public transportation to the game - the local BART system.  This was the scene in the station about 45 minutes after the game and fireworks display was over.

Okay - enough of my kids and our week together and back to the usual work, housework drudge. 

Friday, June 1, 2012


The kids were all home for the long weekend.  We went wine tasting, to an A's game and had a great BBQ.  I am still recovering.  I have gotten used to the empty nest, I guess.  Great fun, lots of cocktails and laughter.